Closing magistrates’ courts in Skegness and Grantham would have a ‘detrimental impact on the victims of crime’, says the leader of Lincolnshire County Council.
Coun Martin Hill was speaking after the Ministry of Justice today (Thursday) revealed plans on how it proposes to reshape the provision of court and tribunal services across the UK - which reccomends the closure of the two courts.
Coun Hill said: “We will be responding to this consultation to raise our concerns and to highlight how important the magistrates’ courts are to the communities of Lincolnshire.
“Magistrates’ courts play a key role in our local criminal justice system - in reducing offending rates and making sure justice is delivered locally.
“Local criminal justice is about having a fair trial for those alleged offenders in their own community. Taking these two courts away would mean that they will be tried many miles away from their own communities. This would then have a detrimental impact on the victims of crime.
“If these magistrates’ courts close, there would also be an economic impact on the county. The courts employ many people and the associated businesses contribute a significant amount to the local economy.
“We also want to make it clear what while any changes might represent potential savings to the Ministry of Justice, it will certainly mean additional costs for everyone else - including our already squeezed local police force.
“We understand that money savings need to be made, but we would seek reassurances about how local justice would continue to be delivered in both Grantham and Skegness.”